ACE VENTURER is taking a break so we've roped in blogger Matt Cooper for this week's golf tips as he focuses on the Bridgestone Invitational.
Matt, whose tips appear on Unibet's blog site, says: Tiger Woods has a lot in common with the weather – half the world loves to talk about it/him, but the other half? They're perpetually infuriated by the chitter chatter.
So it's really hot isn't?! And how good was it to see Tiger contend in The Open?
I'm joking but only partly. Because no matter how many diehard fans chunter about television's obsession with Woods there is a valid reason for it to be that way … numbers. The Tiger Effect is massive. More people watch, read and care about the game when he's in contention and this week the buzz is only going to get louder.
Firestone Country Club, long-term home of the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational, is bidding farewell to the schedule and Woods loves the place.
In his heyday (1997-2009) he played there 11 times, never finished worse than tied fifth and won seven times.
Within that spell he had one run of three consecutive triumphs and another of four. Only once in those 44 rounds was he outside the top 10 at the end of any round.
Just for good measure he won there again in 2013 meaning he's claimed the title half the times he has teed it up – and he's been there 16 times! It's mind-boggling.
But can he win there again? His final round at Carnoustie offered evidence for both the defence and the prosecution. On the one hand he was clearly enthused to be back at a favoured track – he played superb golf through 54 holes and magnificent golf on Sunday's front nine.
On the other hand there is what happened when he hit the front – two ropey tee shots, three dropped shots and it was his playing partner Francesco Molinari who stood firm.
The excitement the 14-time Major champion produced two Sundays ago (and maybe again this week) fuels the worldwide, year-long, merry-go-round of golf. The longer he stays active in the sport the better.
The big question for punters is how to measure Woods' chance this week. His price is already driven low by nostalgic and hopeful fans and that will continue through the week.
Do you take them on or think “Sod it, it's now or never”? For me it's now and I'm backing him at
Walking the course on Saturday of The Open I got chatting to two fans who'd driven up to Scotland the day before, listening to the breathless radio commentary as Justin Rose made a bold bid to make the cut.
As the Englishman lined up a birdie putt on 18, essential if he was to play at the weekend, the pair placed a cheeky 250-1 wager on him.
The putt dropped, they cheered loudly and then spent Saturday and Sunday watching his steady progress up the leaderboard. At one stage, when he posted the clubhouse lead late on the final afternoon, they must have been giddy with excitement.
Alas, theirs was one of many what-if stories and Molinari topped their man by one but take the hint.
Rose is in form (it was his fifth top 10 in a row, a run that began with victory in the Fort Worth Invitational) and what's more he likes this Ohio track, collecting four top-five finishes in 12 starts.
Russell Knox is one of those golfers who can play brilliant golf, become flavour of the month, follow with a couple of bad rounds and, suddenly, he's forgotten.
The latter has happened. He was second in the French Open, won the Irish Open and then headed into the final lap of the Scottish Open two shots off the lead. Stunning stuff, but it caught up with him. He carded 75 at Gullane to finish T49 and the following week was handed a plum draw with Tiger.
The bonus was it was a dream, the downside he became distracted. But he was tied fifth on this layout 12 months ago and if he can recalibrate the form he's a very tasty price.
Dustin Johnson is tournament favourite after winning the Canada Open with Rory McIlroy second in the betting after his joint second in The Open.